Who: Ole Miss Rebels (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-5)
What: 2013 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
When: Monday, December 30th at 3:15 P.M. EST (ESPN)
Where: Lp Field in Nashville, Tennessee
Ole Miss arrives at the Music City Bowl looking for a second straight bowl victory under head coach Hugh Freeze. The Rebels defeated Pittsburgh a season ago in the Compass Bowl and will be facing a Yellow Jackets team that like the Rebels, are coming off of a heartbreaking overtime loss to an in-state rival to conclude the regular season. Ole Miss however, has won five straight bowl games dating back to 2002.
After losing his first four bowl games as head coach of Georgia Tech, Paul Johnson will look to coach the Yellow Jackets to a second straight bowl victory. Georgia Tech defeated USC in the Sun Bowl a season ago, 21-7, for its first bowl win since 2004. Georgia Tech defeated Ole Miss 24-7 in the last meeting between the teams, but that came in 1946.
Three Players to Watch for Ole Miss
Bo Wallace Jr, QB
The Rebels pass for an average of 285 yards-per-game and the Tech defense allows 245 yards-per-game. Wallace is the triggerman in the Ole Miss passing game and if he is on his game, the Rebels should be able to control time of possession and the flow of the game in general. Ole Miss has the weapons to be able to attack the Yellow Jackets as long as Wallace has time to pass and doesn’t commit turnovers.
Donte Moncrief, WR
At 6’3” and 226 lbs., Moncrief is a tough match-up. He can catch the ball across the middle on a crossing pattern and is an effective blocker when the Rebels run the ball on the edges. Should Georgia Tech double-team Moncrief, freshman sensation Laquon Treadwell will draw single coverage.
Cody Prewitt, DB
Prewitt was named a first team All-American this season by the Associated Press. The junior from Bay Springs, Mississippi snagged six interceptions and totaled 70 tackles as the anchor for the Ole Miss defense. Prewitt is questionable for the bowl game with a broken nose, but he will certainly make every effort to play in the game. With Prewitt, the Ole Miss defense should be able to get in position to defend the Tech option attack. Without him, the Rebels will have to win in a shootout.
Three Players to Watch for Georgia Tech
Vad Lee, QB
With a month to prepare, the Ole Miss defense should be ready for the triple-option attack of Georgia Tech. That said, sophomore quarterback Vad Lee will have to make plays and not just with his legs. Since a rough start, Lee has been much better as a passer and may have to make throws for the Yellow Jackets to notch a victory in Nashville.
Robert Godhigh, RB
Senior Robert Godhigh carries a small 5’7″ frame, but with it, big play ability. Godhigh does it all for the Yellow Jackets as he is the team’s leading receiver averaging 20 yards-per-catch and second leading rusher. If there is one guy that the Ole Miss defense will need to account for, it’s Godhigh.
Jeremiah Attaochu, DE
Ranking third nationally with 12 sacks on the season, senior Jeremiah Attaochu may single-handily be able to get Bo Wallace and the Ole Miss passing attack out of rhythm. Attaochu is Georgia Tech’s best defensive player and could prove to be a real difference maker.
Ole Miss Wins If…
Cody Prewitt playing would be a huge pick-me-up, but the Rebel coaching staff must figure out how to slow down the Tech triple-option attack. Ole Miss will score points, but the difference will be how many points the defense allows.
Georgia Tech Wins If…
For the Yellow Jackets to be successful, they must win the turnover battle and control the clock. Like Ole Miss, Georgia Tech has struggled at times defensively and keeping the Rebel offense off the field will be a huge plus. Defensively, Georgia Tech must get to Bo Wallace and find ways to get off the field on third down to allow its offense the opportunity to wear the Rebels down.